Monday, 31 March 2014

Granny's Fudge and a New Plan...

About a month ago my Granny went into a care home.

Such a simple sentence to write and yet it doesn't begin to describe the stress and detail that went into the 6 or so weeks going from independent living (to some degree), into hospital and then into a care home.

It was a difficult time (although definitely more so for my mum) but if I'm honest, it's been a blessing in disguise. Granny is now in a safe and lovely environment with people who are trained and ready to help her with everything she needs. Her room looks like a room from a Travel Lodge (which by my tastes, ain't that shabby) and she not only gets three home cooked meals a day (two courses) but biscuits and homebaking too. She has met interesting people who are in the same situation as she is and gets to enjoy their company rather than sitting by herself in her house. Plus there's entertainment laid on for them every day; Last week she was sporting newly polished nails and a pearl* bracelet that she won during a scrabble tournament. For my granny, the change has definitely been a positive one.

* Most likely an imitation!

I have decided that Care Homes have an unnecessarily bad reputation. Hell, I want to go into one now - it's like university dorms for old people! I don't even want to imagine what those crazy cats get up to when visiting hours are over!

Anyway, Granny has been at the forefront of my mind for a wee while now and so it's no surprise that some of the things that she was 'famous' for are coming back to me. One thing I remember is that whenever we visited there were always three things on offer:

1) Fudge Slice
2) Iced Sponge
3) Chocolate Cake

Surprisingly, I wasn't a fan of the chocolate cake which meant the Fudge Slice and Iced Sponge were all mine! With a hankering for Fudge Slice I decided to air out my Granny's recipe and give it a whirl.

It might not be the prettiest thing in the world but boy, if you're looking for a shot of sugar with chocolate on the top then this is a quick and easy way to get it.

The bottom of this slice is a sweet and creamy fudge with a bit of crunch from the crushed biscuits. A thin layer of chocolate on the top pulls it all together alongside some chocolate crunch sprinkles for prettiness and texture! Being quite sweet, you can't eat too many of these in one go - perfect if you're a food binger like me!

What you need:
4 oz margarine
1 small tin of condensed milk
4 oz sugar (castor or granulated)
2 tbsps syrup (to be honest, I forgot this and it still tasted delish!)
9 oz digestive biscuits
8oz chocolate of your choice
chocolate sprinkles of your choice

What you do:
Put the margarine, condensed milk, sugar and syrup in a pan and melt oh so slowly.

When all the ingredients are blended, put the heat on low-medium and heat for approximately 8 minutes. Keep stirring so that the mixture never sticks to the bottom of the pan (it goes brown when it does this and ruins the look as well as the taste of the fudge). The sugar will dissolve and the mixture will change to a warm golden hue.

Take your biscuits and pop them into a bag. Smash 'em up real good! The smoother you make your crumbs, the smoother your fudge will be. With the best will in the world, I always end up with little lumps but it adds a little extra, I say!

Remove the mixture from the heat and add the biscuits. Stir and blend well.

Pop the mixture into a swiss roll tin (a tin approximately 34cm x 20cm x 3cm) and press down. Allow to cool before adding your chocolate (aka the best bit!).

Melt your chocolate either over a pan of boiling water or in the microwave. I normally melt in a microwave with no issues but I've had a couple of horrors the last few times and I've managed to burn the chocolate. Not only do you then suffer the upset of wasting chocolate, the smell of burnt chocolate is just disgusting. Then there's the other problem of convincing yourself that the burnt chocolate will taste fine, eating it and then wanting to hurl. Burnt chocolate never tastes okay, people. Bleurgh!

Once the chocolate is nice and smooth, pour it over the fudge mixture. Add your chocolate sprinkles if you're using them and leave to cool at room temperature (you don't want any of the white fluff that appears if you pop chocolate in the fridge!).

Cut into tasty bars, eat and enjoy!

The new plan refers to a new way of thinking that I have decided to adopt.

I have realised (not that it's such a big surprise) that I just don't have the desire or inclination to give up yummy food that is traditionally seen as 'bad'. And why should I? Life is short - eat the damn chocolate!

Having said that with such conviction, I do suffer from low self-esteem and I complete hatred of my body image. I'll also admit that I do comfort eat those 'bad' foods. When I say comfort eat I mean binge. Eating one piece of something isn't bad. Eating the whole tray of goodies in one go - that's not healthy.

My dilemma is this:
I like to eat.
I like to eat things that have a large amount of sugar and fat.
I want to continue to eat these things because, as mentioned above, life is short.
Unfortunately, I berate myself daily for my 'bad' food choices and how this makes me feel about myself and my body.
I don't want to continue that.

So, my only option is to exercise.

I think that this (pinned to my Fitness and Health Pinterest board) pretty much sums up what needs to be my motto going forward.

Running, baby!!

So my new plan is this:

Continue to enjoy baking and eating scrumptious food (although maybe not so gluttonously!).
Exercise to keep my mind and body happy and in order.

I'll let you know how I get on!


  1. I love chocolate fudge cake. It's a good thing you can't eat more than one piece at a time. Allegedly! :oD

  2. Yeah - that part is such a lie. You can eat it all!!! :D


Thank you for your comments.